I’ve heard it said that we are our own worst critics. I believe that to be true, if only to a good extent.
But I bet you may already know. You may be well acquainted with that inner condemner, the one that tells you how little you are, and how much of a failure you’ll turn out to be. Okay, maybe a little too dramatic, but I bet some of us would agree that it’s at least close to the truth.
There’s a creepy inner voice that doesn’t always sound creepy at first. It sometimes sounds more pragmatic and factual. For example, “This can’t work-won’t work. You don’t have this and that,” “Nobody knows you, you won’t be able to pull it off,” “How on earth are you going to pay your rent now?” “You should totally give up.”
And then you realize by God’s mercy, that those are well sounding lies, and in that moment, the creepiness of the voice is revealed. But a lot of times, it’s usually your voice – your fears magnified, your inner turmoil, doubts of self and of God. And something has to be done about it. One voice must be silenced, and another awakened.
At the foundation of a lot of sin is fear, or at least fear is sin’s close companion. Fear speaks of condemnation, which is what the inner condemner knows best. The Bible refers to the devil as the ‘accuser of the brethren’, but the devil doesn’t have to go too far to make us feel like nothing, because our minds are usually fallow grounds for fault finding.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.” (Psalm 42:5) David the Psalmist, ever so honest in his writings said to himself-to his soul- “hope in God”! He speaks to himself a word of encouragement, pointing his soul back to God, the source of his help and peace.
Hope in God, my soul…
Some days, when I feel frustrated and confused, and it feels like God is silent, while the other voice of despair and failure seems so loud. I’ve learned that God’s truth is sometimes more still, and it is surer of itself than all other voices trying to grab my attention and make me believe a lie.
In these moments, I can, as David did, speak to my soul and remind myself where my anchor lies and in whom all truth is found. And in that moment, what I am choosing is faith over fear. The moment I do, all the other voices quiet down and lose their potency. I’m basically saying, “Shut up; you’re a liar.” Yes I’m that harsh with the invisible forces that war against my soul.
God is true. In Him is all my help. Hope in God, my soul.